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There seems to be so much discussion around wheels, weights and spokes that it got me wondering. When looking at upgrading a wheelset, wouldn't the type of hub be more important than spokes? I am not touching the weight discussion because the benefits of less weight I believe are fairly obvious.

I may be looking at this from the low end of bikes vs. high end. For example, I ride a Giant OCR2, all stock except for my seat. I am sure that that the hubs are not sealed bearing cartridges, and I imagine there is quite a bit of friction at the hub area compared to another wheel that would have abec5s. Am I all wet? I know that during my rollerblading days, the upgrade in abec ratings made a huge difference in the performance.

I usually bike alone so I couldn't tell you if my wheels suck. They seem to roll just fine.
 

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peterk said:
There seems to be so much discussion around wheels, weights and spokes that it got me wondering. When looking at upgrading a wheelset, wouldn't the type of hub be more important than spokes? I am not touching the weight discussion because the benefits of less weight I believe are fairly obvious.

I may be looking at this from the low end of bikes vs. high end. For example, I ride a Giant OCR2, all stock except for my seat. I am sure that that the hubs are not sealed bearing cartridges, and I imagine there is quite a bit of friction at the hub area compared to another wheel that would have abec5s. Am I all wet? I know that during my rollerblading days, the upgrade in abec ratings made a huge difference in the performance.

I usually bike alone so I couldn't tell you if my wheels suck. They seem to roll just fine.
You want quality hubs that use good bearing systems and are light weight. You want quality spokes that are consistently threaded, well made, and of good material choice. Same points on the rim.

BTW, sealed cartridge bearings can be just as crappy as any other system, and top of the line Campy hubs use cup and cone bearings. Nobody can claim to roll better than those hubs. Don't get hung up with one design being fundamentally better than another: it's all about execution.
 

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Agreed - cup & cone hubs are the best regards both rolling and cost. This is why I ride Campagnolo hubs on my vintage road-bike. And Ultegra hubs on my customized hybrid. Easy to overhaul & adjust so they stay that way.

Sometimes the older and simpler ways are best.
 
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